Sunday, October 3, 2010

Confessions of a Confectionista

Food is my religion. I am not trying to be funny. I am more passionate about food, and have stronger beliefs about food, than anything else. Of course, I grew up "Christian". My parents didn't take me to church but when I was about 8 years old I asked if I could go to Sunday School (maybe the only kid ever to ask to go to Sunday School!). I wanted to go to the Baptist Church because I liked the music. I quite enjoyed going to church, actually. Even at that age I had pretty strong ideas about religion and really enjoyed learning about the Bible. (I had already decided that the 7 days it took God to create the world was a metaphor for a longer span of time and that somewhere in there was the Big Bang) When I was in high school and had many Jewish friends, I enjoyed learning about Judaism and one friend even taught me a little Hebrew (I can still count to ten and sing a preschool song). I have always enjoyed learning about religions. But I definitely don't practice organized religion. I celebrate the Christian holidays like many people, a tree, an Easter egg. But in the last few years, my beliefs about food have become my religion.

When I was in my early twenties I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. I started to read a lot about holistic health and I bought Dr. Andrew Weil's first book. That is when I started eating organic, taking supplements like selenium and being more conscious of what "went in". I have been following many of Michael Pollan's Food Rules for years. I have had many people make negative comments to me about this in the past, before it was cool. And now that I feed my children this way, my beliefs are stronger and more important to me.

I believe in knowing what is in my food, where it comes from, who owns the company that grows it/makes it, and what kind of footprint it has. My priorities are health, environmental and social impact. I believe that food and sleep have a significant impact on childrens' development and on our long term health and ability to stave off major diseases. I believe that the medical community is realizing that food has more to do with cancer and other diseases than we ever thought possible.

To start a food business seems natural for someone with such passion, but why a candy and cookie business? To start, baking is my true love. And I bake almost every day for my family- bread, quick breads, muffins, all sorts of things that are made with very healthy, organic ingredients. But I also like to bake treats. We all enjoy treats from time to time. And we should. I want to know exactly what my kids are eating when they have a treat. I want to offer people treats that they can enjoy and know exactly what is in them. Sure, some of my treats have some refined ingredients. But some of them are wholesome, good for you baked goods that make having a treat guilt-free. I believe in moderation. A little chocolate or a marshmallow or two, isn't so bad. In fact, if you really enjoy it then I think it's a good thing.

Food is to be enjoyed, loved, savoured- and I believe you can only do this if you know what you are eating. I try not to preach my beliefs about food. I will share what I believe and you decide. But know that I really care about what I am making and selling. Amen.

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